“Street Pastors is about Christians rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in practically responding to the problems of crime and safety. They are like beacons on our streets and I want to see them shining brightly in every constituency.”
(David Burrowes MP, Patron of Street Pastors)
Ashford Street Pastors is an inter-denominational Christian response to some of the problems we see in our community. We were commissioned in November 2010 and currently have 18 street pastors and 14 prayer pastor team members. Our street pastors have patrolled our town centre streets for over 4000 hours since then and our prayer pastors have clocked up over 3000 hours. We are trained volunteers from local churches who care about their community. Our street pastors patrol in teams of men and women, usually from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on three Friday and one Saturday nights each month, providing a peaceful presence on the night-time streets by caring for, listening to and helping people who are out on the streets while our prayer pastors offer support through prayer and by coordinating communication.
Although independent, we work in close collaboration with the police and community safety unit at Ashford Borough Council and as a result we have been asked to investigate providing a presence in schools and town centre as the school day ends, with a view to increasing safety and peace for our young people. We are looking to run some test patrols in the near future.
Street Pastors was pioneered in London in 2003 by Les Isaac. Since then over 12,000 street and prayer pastors have been trained and they play an active part in strengthening community life and working for safer streets. Currently, more than 300 towns and cities around the UK have a Street Pastors team. When you add prayer pastors, management teams and trustees, this means that there are over 20,000 volunteers in total associated with the Street Pastors network. There are also a growing number of Street Pastors teams overseas.
As well as serving the night-time economy, the Street Pastors model is being used in daytime and community settings, for example, in parks, schools and colleges.
Each city project is set up by Ascension Trust, which is the governing body behind Street Pastors, and run by a local coordinator with support from local churches and community groups, in partnership with the police, local council and other statutory agencies.
• a Christian and part of a local church;
• concerned for society and your local community;
• willing to engage with people, whatever their perspective on life and wherever they hang out;
• happy to work in a team and in collaboration with other agencies and projects, both statutory and voluntary, praying together while the Street Pastors are on the streets;
• over the age of 18?
If so contact Lita for an initial chat where we can answer any questions you might have and we can give you further information. You will be given full training before joining a team.
c/o Ashford Baptist Church
Saint John’s Lane
Ashford TN23 1PS
Monday 10am to 3pm
01233 879 341